Mitt Romney's No-Brainer
Any rookie in the game of politics should know that when you make a tactical mistake, which in his case is failing to come clean on his full record of income tax returns, you'd better do so right away to stop the bleeding.
The annals of presidential campaigns are replete with the carcasses of candidates who tried to stonewall pressures to reveal information possibly pertinent to their credibility, and paid the price. From Watergate to
Whether or not there is anything in Romney's pre-2010 tax returns that might damage his campaign, the sheer appearance of trying to hide something is hardly the way to build public confidence in a man who has been notably stingy about his private life, particularly in business.
For a candidate who bases his whole campaign on his success as a private entrepreneur, Romney can ill afford to decline to open wide his books that can document how he achieved it. There may be nothing detrimental there, and as one who has already taken political hits for the revelation of offshore bank accounts and the like, he obviously has reason to balk at further possible disclosures.
Tactically, however, his stalling has enabled President Obama and his campaign team to eat up valuable weeks of election-year time and attention on what so far has been a sideshow to the main event: the state of the economy in Obama's first 3 1/2 years in office.
In effect, the Obama team has been able, with coordinated negative television ads, to hijack the summer months of the campaign. It has thrown Romney on the defensive and kept him there, thrashing helplessly as long as he sits on those earlier tax returns. Calling on the president to apologize for a lame-brained aide's suggestion that Romney has committed a felony only magnified the Republican challenger's frustration.
When it comes to the point where even Romney's
The problem for Romney in the whole dust-up over his tax returns is that it seems to raise the basic question in the 2012 campaign: Whose side is he on? The rich and powerful or the rest of the country? That reduction of the equation may be simplistic, but in the art of shaping public opinion, it plays neatly into the old class-warfare litany.
In a campaign that is evolving into a fight for the middle-class voter, it makes no political sense for Romney to let the diversion go on. He needs to get the campaign back on Obama's conduct of the economy, now that his assault on the president's health-care reforms seems to have been defanged by the
It is being alleged, inaccurately, that the Democrats are doing to Romney no more than what the Republicans did in 2004 to Sen.
Continuing to balk can only consume more valuable time in what the polls that the public and politicians seem to worship say this is an extremely close race. As the supposedly political genius
That's one voice from the grave that
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Mitt Romney's No-Brainer | Politics
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